Google Fiber Update: Company that lost contract for Huntsville Utilities fiber network wins it back

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala – Bear Communications, the Kansas company that won an open bid process to build Huntsville Utility’s fiber network, won a second round of bidding to take the contract back, after losing it over a licensing mix-up.

Huntsville Utilities made an agreement with Google Fiber that if the utility provided the fiber network, Google Fiber would lease space on it and provide access to residents. So Huntsville Utilities had an open bid process for a contractor to lead the construction of the municipal fiber network.

Bear Communications won the bid.

But in December, the State of Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors issued a cease a desist telling Bear to stop work.

Turned out, Huntsville Utilities Spokesperson Joe Gehrdes says, the company’s license in Tennessee needed to be held for three years before it would carry over into Alabama. He adds, “Bear had only held their Tennessee license for two years and nobody caught it until the subcontractors began applying for their licenses locally.”

Huntsville Utilities had to pull the Bear contract and hold a re-bid.

But they told us the re-bid is not a sentimental process and that it comes down to numbers.

They now confirm Bear won the second bidding of the project too.

They say work resumed on March 6th and the project is on schedule.